Fringe Round Table: "Novation"

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Our intrepid episode investigators take on another episode of Fringe this week ("Novation) in this week's edition of the Round Table.

With Peter finally back, what does that mean for Walter, Olivia, Lincoln and, most especially, Peter himself? Join staff writers Carissa Pavlica, Sean McKenna and Nick McHatton as they share their opinions on what went down.


By Walter's touching Peter's face, do you think he was accepting him or writing him off as an anomaly that best not be addressed?
Sean: I think Walter doesn't know what to believe. I think the chance at having a life with his son sparked some emotions, but the reality seems to still be too much for him.

Nick: It felt like both. Walter was trying to process that in another timeline his son actually survived, and the face touch made it real. But I think Walter doesn't want to get attached to Peter since this "anomaly" could be gone at any time, and Walter would be left grieving over his son all over again.

Carissa: He feels like it’s the ultimate punishment for stealing another man’s son all those years ago. Deep down, he knows Peter is his son, but he also expects him to be torn away at any moment. My guess is he will turn away for fear of losing him.

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What might the other side want to do with an army of shape shifters?
Sean: Take over the world. Take over the worlds? An army of shapeshifters sounds like plenty of trouble for the Fringe team.

Nick: Power. The other side has a lot of animosity for our side, and now that they're "working together" the only way they can keep that power difference is to be one step ahead with whatever they're planning.

Carissa: I have no idea. I can’t think of anything they can’t already do with doubles of everyone that they could do with an army of shifters. What would the army do on our side that would affect theirs? Other than self-destruct.

What did you think when you heard about this timeline's Nina/Olivia relationship?
Sean: It made me wonder why Nina would choose to become Olivia's guardian. She always seems to have some underlying secret or motive behind her actions that it's hard for me to believe that everything was purely to take care of Olivia.

Nick: I liked it, Olivia needs some type of Gal pal and since we haven't heard about her sister and niece in this timeline, Nina is almost the next best thing (after Astrid).

Carissa: I love the idea of Nina being more than just an old friend of Walter and William. This would mean her character would have a lot more integration into the story and I’d take any opportunity to see more of Blair Brown.

Were you surprised that Olivia asked Lincoln out for a bite to eat, and what did you think of his reaction?
Sean: I wasn't really surprised. They've been getting along rather well recently and a connection between the two certainly seems possible, although I was surprised by his reaction. I don't think Peter would like Olivia dating other guys though.

Nick: I was a little surprised because I wasn't exactly sure what her motives were behind it (if any). Was she being a good partner and wanted to give him some company and an ear since he lost his previous partner to a shapeshifter? Did Peter's arrival set something off for her emotionally and she was trying to run from it?

Carissa: Given the earlier conversation she had with Astrid about not going there, I thought she was tossing caution to the wind. Nothing spectacular, but an opening. That he closed the door without a thought was surprising. I naturally assumed he’d be interested in friendship, at the least. This Lincoln seems all business now that his partner is dead.

Are you keeping the faith in the showrunners that they know where we're going? Please explain your answer.
Sean: I'm certainly keeping the faith for now. I have a feeling that they aren't simply making this stuff up as they go along, but that said, some answers might be a little nice. Yes, shapeshifters are running around, but we don't know why or who's controlling them. Peter's back, but the timelines remain off. I guess while everything remains to be seen, I just hope more universes don't start popping up and the show becomes too convoluted.

Nick: Whenever Fringe does something like this (like developing over there) we all end up having reservations, and we all end up loving it - so I'm not worried at all.

Carissa: I do have faith. It concerns me that other viewers do not. I’ve seen so many comments that if this or that doesn’t change they won’t watch any more. Having listened to these gentlemen on phone calls, I know they have a plan. I trust it will be a hell of a ride.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.




i'm just frustrated. at first i was intrigued by the new timeline, now i just don't like it, especially how the producer has suggested that 'our' timeline was wrong, and this is the right one. i hope they eventually revert to the old timeline; it's just too depressing to see walter like this, and olivia and peter so distant. iunno, i hope they have a plan and don't go all lost on us!


1. Nick's answer
3. Good for Liv
4. No. Understandable
5. Yes because they've done well so far despite the complexities.


I disagree first with staff member Jeff about the Walter moments, for me this Walter is just mannerism, and his selfpity is getting over the top, why must I feel sorry for a childabuser?
Olivia did not ask Lincoln out on a date, what about understanding his feelings and not wnating him to be alone , as a friend????
And the panel does not seem surprised that this was the very first time that was mentioned what had happened with Olivia when she was 14, dead of a mother at that age, nothing in the other timeline, now 1 fact in a sentence, compared to endless scenes of so called poor walter about Peter and his wife, already only in this season let alone the 3 previous seasons , and Peter with his scenes about Walter and his mother. The Bishop history is being recycled over and over again, but the writers do absolutely nothing for Olivia. About 6 facts mentioned in 70 episodes, and you will be forgiven if you have missed them, because Olivia/Anna Torv never gets a chance to talk about her inner turmoil concerning her mother, father, stepfather, abuse. They got rid of Charlie, her sister was 1-2 minutes in about 10 episodes only to talk about her divorce (why not longer scenes and have them talk about their mother?) and the niece got 1 epi more, being cute with Olivia.
They have been mentioned BTW: In 4.04 there was a photograph of Ella with either Olivia or Rachel and Olivia talks about her and her sister living with Nina, may be she is dead now, we would already know that in the first scene if it would concern Walter or Peter, but since this is Olivia with a bit of luck in season 6 they may mention it.
They should have done something with Olivia and Nina from the pilot, to balance Walter and Peter, but it looks very much like Olivia will be sidelined again after only a brief spell upfront in S3, because the second half of that season was already mostly back to the Bishopboys.
This season will be very predictable, my take:
Walter first does not want to know Peter, Olivia like S1 and 2 again reduced to go-between, then something happens to Olivia, and they have to bond to save her and we will be back to the Bishop boys. With this all the once gatekeeper, chosen one, hero Olivia who was replaced by Peter in that job from 3.10, will be petersgirl again, wow.
I loved 4.01, 4.02 and 4.04. The Walter and Olivia trip was great, and John Noble always has his best scenes with Anna Torv, and 4.02 was absolutely brilliant, with a truly awesome Anna Torv, who for me is the definition of perfection. What Anna Torv manages to do with so little backstory is simply amazing.
If my prediction is true, they will loose a lot of viewers, me included. There are many more out there who feel that this new timeline should give other characters a storyline, and I agree with more Nina, Astrid, Broyles
but the Leading character Olivia still has not had 1 scene to talk about her mother or her abuse or father, so that should come first, it is almost insulting that this excepted.
The writers seem to suggest that Walter losing a son at the age of 40 or so is more traumatic then losing your mother, father, being abused by a stepfather , shooting that stepfather, being abused by Walter before the age of 14.
Enough of the Bishop Boys.


I don't know if I'm just not paying close enough attention or what, but have I missed the explanation as to the purpose of the shapeshifters. I find them incredibly annoying. It's starting to feel like the Helix from Alias. (creating doubles of Francie, Irina AND Sydney). This episode for me was completely dull and the worst of the season so far, save for the Walter moments (John Noble is the definition of perfection) and the moment at the end when Olivia experienced a literal deja vu. What was THAT about? Shifting between worlds again? (something she never has done in THIS version of over here.) I did also like that no one had yet heard of the Observers. Peter's absence really has changed everything.

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

Olivia: Walter, he says you're the only one he will speak to.
Walter: Me?
Olivia: Walter, he says his name is Peter Bishop. He says he's your son.

Well, what choice do I have? I've been haunted for weeks with visions of a strange man. And now the man is here, in the flesh, in our midst, and no one will let me examine him or even see him. I'm kept in the dark knowing nothing. How's a man supposed to get some rest with all these uncertainties?